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Solving computer challenges with skills and a sense of humor

19-Aug-2013 1:47 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
by Chris Swingle

Barbara Moore found herself with the right skills at the right time to create a successful computer training and troubleshooting business in 1996.

Trained as a librarian specializing in information technology, she had been in charge of automating 30 public libraries for Monroe County Library Services in the 1980s. Then, into the 1990s, she worked as assistant director of libraries for automation at the University of Rochester, where she was a key player in developing the university's first website. At that time, the Internet was becoming easier to use, and more people wanted to learn how. The library trained faculty and staff.

"I realized then there would be a good demand, and I realized how much I enjoyed training," says Moore. Here is a video of Barb describing how RPCN has helped her.

A community course helped her develop a business plan for offering computer help and classes. Other women who had started their own businesses encouraged her. One mentor challenged her: "What are you afraid of?" Moore feared she wouldn't make enough money and wouldn't like her new work, which could lead to having to find a new job that she might not like as much as her UR position. Her mentor reassured Moore that she could probably find an even better job, if necessary.

Moore had been a women's rights activist since 1978, always encouraging other women to take risks, push themselves professionally and be role models. She decided she needed to follow her own advice, and she started NetResults.

Nearly 17 years later, Moore still loves the freedom of working for herself - including the opportunity for casual attire. "I didn't realize I didn't like dressing up," she says. She enjoys helping people get comfortable with social-media websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, or software such as Publisher and Excel. She incorporates humor, putting clients at ease so the technology is less threatening.

In 2004, Moore attended an inspiring conference offered by the Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN). She still remembers a great workshop on effective PowerPoint presentations, which recommended telling a story and using memorable images rather than bulleted lists of points. "And I teach that to this day," says Moore.

She joined the group and has been a regular at the monthly technical forums, where members and visitors can ask technical questions and get answers from the group. "I don't know anywhere else where you can have an hour-and-a-half with so many experts in the room," she points out. She provides answers and sometimes asks questions. When a client of hers wanted everything deleted from an old computer but had lost its power cord, Moore asked about and learned the potential ramifications of substituting a different cord.

Just by listening, Moore gets ideas of what technical issues are on people's minds. That knowledge has prompted her to write a newspaper column on those topics and to highlight certain services on her website, such as teaching clients how to get found on LinkedIn.

For a time, Moore moderated RPCN's evening social media forums, which have since been incorporated into the technical forums. She lined up workshop leaders for RPCN's social media conference in 2012 and has given several workshops for RPCN, such as on Pinterest and on advanced Excel skills. Currently, she serves on the Communication Committee.

Moore says of RPCN: "I think it's an excellent resource for people who are starting a consulting business. And, as you mature in your business, it's an excellent way to give back by helping people who are starting."



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